IT had seemed to me an odd Christmas present.
My sister-in-law had bought 16-year-old Gabriel and Isaac, 14, hour-long sessions on Segways, and each of them could take along a mate.
For the uninitiated, a Segway looks a bit like an old-fashioned two-wheeled lawnmower. You stand on them, and they propel you along at a fair rate of knots and they are surprisingly easy to steer.
I can tell you that because neither son could persuade a mate to tag along, so my wife and I accompanied the lads to the session.
Despite my misgivings, we had a great time.
Once we’d donned the daft-looking safety helmets and had the uncomplicated briefing on how to ‘drive’ a Segway, we were off on a strange looking convoy around a few Newcastle parks, which I hadn’t realised were connected.
The four of us all enjoyed the session, in spite of the strange looks we were getting from dog walkers and joggers.
We were joined by the instructor and two ladies, one of whom was proud to tell us she was in her seventies and was determined to try something new.
She loved it too, and whizzed around the parks much faster than my better half.
I’m sure someone, somewhere has written a formula about the correlation between your child’s increasing age and their increasing reluctance to spend any time with you.
It would be based on the incontrovertible fact that the older they get the less time they want to be with you.
So our Segway afternoon was special. The four of us enjoying each other’s company, sharing a laugh, having a joke, trying to do something at which we were all novices, where what little hierarchy we have in our family meant even less than usual.
It will be some time before the memories fade, and I’m just grateful to my wise old sister-in-law that she could see what was possible.
l If you’re interested, our Segway adventure was with Simply Segway – go to simplysegway.com